Saturday’s makeshift goalkeeper Andrew Boyce says he did not hesitate to go in goal after an injury crisis saw both of United’s goalkeepers forced off in the first-half.Sam Slocombe left the field of play inside ten minutes, following a collision in the box, before his replacement James Severn clashed with Matt Smith, after denying the former Leeds striker in a one-on-one.
Boyce stepped up to play nearly 50 minutes in goal, where he put in a confident performance.
“I was near Sev (Severn) when he went down so I went straight over to the bench and said I will do it,” Boyce explained to The Iron Player after the 2-0 defeat.
“It was no problem at all, I have done it at junior football level, aged nine or ten, so I thought I would do it.
“They obviously said to put the crosses on the ‘keeper so I came out and punched a few and caught a corner - I was more surprised than anyone when I caught that!
“It is not ideal having one of your players going in goal for more than a half, given all the things against us we did do well but we have lost the game.
“We lost two goalkeepers with broken arms. Surely the goalkeepers have got to be protected a bit more, they both have the same injuries after they were absolutely smashed.”
It was a clash between the division’s two form teams as Steve Cotterill’s joint-top City were visitors to Glanford Park and the freak turn of events effectively disrupted the Iron’s game plan.
Former Arsenal man Jay Emmanuel-Thomas scored from the spot shortly after the half-hour mark and the three points were sealed four minutes from time, when another ex-Gunner, Luke Freeman, found an opening from the edge of the box.
Despite the two-goal advantage, Boyce believes Scunthorpe’s overall performance warranted at least a point.
“We are all disappointed,” Boyce stated, reflecting on the match - United’s first loss in Sky Bet League One since October.
“I thought we deserved something from the game. We worked hard, I gave the penalty away which I was disappointed with.
“I did not think it was one, but it is not my opinion that counts unfortunately.
“The lad (Matt Smith) is 6ft 6in, I stepped across him to ease him away from the ball and he went down like that, the referee thought it was a penalty and you cannot argue with that and it put us 1-0 down.”
“Given the way we dug in and did so well man to man, we could definitely have got something.
I thought we deserved a point at the very least. We conceded late on with a scruffy goal that took a bit of a deflection but we had some great chances. Hopps (Tom Hopper) went close with a header and if that goes in, it might have gone differently.”
Playing the defender in goal could well have been seen as a weak spot but City rarely got a shot off as the defence brilliantly prevented the visiting side from trying their luck.
The defeat ended a streak which saw the Claret and Blue go unbeaten in their seven league matches, since Scunthorpe were unfortunate to lose at home to Notts County, and Boyce believes the run can give the squad belief to surge up Sky Bet League One.
He added: “I thought we defended and played ever so well well. I did not have too much to do and we were as good as them, if not better.
“You want to bounce back straight away, it would be nice if we had another game quickly after but we have some time to rest and regroup and get ready for the next one (at home to MK Dons next Tuesday).
“We have picked up some good points on this run, we were unfortunate to lose today, we want to get back on another one. The end of one run means we can start another and we want to climb the table.”
See much more from Andrew Boyce, Neal Bishop and Mark Robins on The Iron Player.